Image_1_A Transcript and Metabolite Atlas of Blackcurrant Fruit Development Highlights Hormonal Regulation and Reveals the Role of Key Transcription Factors.JPEG

Blackcurrant fruit collected at six stages of development were assessed for changes in gene expression using custom whole transcriptome microarrays and for variation in metabolite content using a combination of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Principal components analysis demonstrated that fruit development could be clearly defined according to their transcript or metabolite profiles. During early developmental stages, metabolite profiles were dominated by amino acids and tannins, whilst transcript profiles were enriched in functions associated with cell division, anatomical structure morphogenesis and cell wall metabolism. During mid fruit development, fatty acids accumulated and transcript profiles were consistent with seed and embryo development. At the later stages, sugars and anthocyanins accumulated consistent with transcript profiles that were associated with secondary metabolism. Transcript data also indicated active signaling during later stages of fruit development. A targeted analysis of signaling networks revealed a dynamic activation and repression of almost 60 different transcripts encoding transcription factors across the course of fruit development, many of which have been demonstrated as pivotal to controlling such processes in other species. Transcripts associated with cytokinin and gibberellin were highly abundant at early fruit development, whilst those associated with ABA and ethylene tended to be more abundant at later stages. The data presented here provides an insight into fruit development in blackcurrant and provides a foundation for further work in the elucidation of the genetic basis of fruit quality.